Wheelchair and Handicap Accessible Log Homes

What makes a cedar log home handicap accessible and ADA compliant?

With over 40 million Americans having a disability, the demand for handicap-accessible log homes has risen. Many design considerations are important, and these must be addressed from the beginning of your project.

If you want an ADA complaint or Universal Design log home, you have come to the right place. Cedar Direct Log Homes has decades of experience in building wheelchair-accessible log homes as the VP of Marketing, and the President’s daughter, Nora Schneider, is disabled herself.

In addition to the growing number of individuals with disabilities, the population is aging and requires homes to fit their particular lifestyle. As you begin to design your log home, there are many important design features to plan.


What items should be considered when building a wheelchair and ADA-accessible log home?

Handicap-accessible homes can be beautiful and functional when builders and their clients think ahead. Here are some tips on building accessible homes that appeal to disabled buyers.

  • Driveway & Parking – Accessible living begins with the driveway and area for parking on your property. Wheelchair-accessible vehicles are typically larger than traditional vehicles. Providing ample parking areas or larger garages with hard paths from the vehicle to the home entrance is a top priority.
  • Accessible Entrance – Stairs are difficult to maneuver for persons with disabilities and almost impossible for wheelchair users. Ramps into the home or level entranceways should be planned.
  • Accessible Doorways & Halls – People in wheelchairs or using mobility aids need ample space in doorways. Standard doorways are 30″ wide, but ADA-compliant doorways are at least 32″ (36″ doorways are recommended for additional space). According to ADA.gov, hallways should have a minimum width of 32″, but it is highly advisable to make hallway widths 42″ in residential new construction.
  • Elevators & Stair Lifts – Elevators are much easier to install in new construction log homes than after the fact. If you think you will consider this in the future, do yourself a favor and install an elevator from the beginning. If an elevator is unnecessary, a stair lift works well to help mobility-impaired persons navigate multi-level log homes.
  • Accessible Kitchens – Kitchens are the heartbeat of any log home. Suggestions for the perfect accessible Kitchen include lowered storage areas, ADA-compliant appliances, lower countertops, and open space under sinks so wheelchair users can roll up closer.
  • Accessible Bathrooms – Safety is a top priority when designing a bathroom for a person with a disability. Considerations include accessible showers and/or tubs, including roll-in showers if needed, grab rails, raised toilets, shower chairs & benches, floor coverings to reduce slips and falls, and lowered countertops and sinks for wheelchair users to roll underneath.
  • Closets – Shelves and closet rods must be lowered for easy use, especially for wheelchair users.
  • Flooring – Smooth flooring is better for wheelchair users, but this type of flooring may be hazardous for those using mobility aids. Careful consideration should be given based on the homeowner’s particular needs.
  • Open Spaces – Maneuvering in a wheelchair requires more space, and open floor plan designs are important. In addition, mobility aids require more space. Typically, a 5-foot turning radius is recommended so that a 360-degree turn can be made without running into obstacles like walls and doorways.

The Cedar Direct team can assist you with designing your dream log home, considering all disability, ADA, and Universal Design features to fit your specific needs. Ask for Nora. She will be more than happy to assist you by sharing her 35-plus years of experience in log home living in a wheelchair.

Wheelchair accessible, ADA-Compliant, and Universal Design resources for those looking to build a new cedar log home.

Purdue University

Builder Online Magazine

ADA.gov Design Standards

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